FEBR welcomes govt reforms plan of FBR, PSM, Railways


ISLAMABAD, NOV 22 /DNA/   – The Friends of Business and Economic Reforms (FEBR) President Sunday welcomed the government’s reforms plan of the FBR, Steel Mills and Railways, saying that transparent appointments of these institutions’ chiefs are the prerequisite of their growth and development.

FEBR President Kashif Anwar said there is a need to build a structure in the country, which is in accordance with the requirements of time, as it is easy to weaken institutions but it takes a long time to rebuild them. Whatever appointments government makes to the heads of the institutions should be based on transparency and merit, he said.

He said that at present the government is funding all existing institutions in the country and the restructuring will improve these institutions.

FEBR President said that among those institutions the FBR acts as the backbone of our economy and its automation and integration of the data would ultimately broaden the tax base and the government would be in a position to reduce rates of taxes and lessen burden on the existing taxpayers.

Kashif Anwar said that making the FBR stronger through improved tax collection will be immensely beneficial for the country.

It is appreciable that the government has decided to expand the tax base under a fully-automated system, which should need to be improved as it has still many flaws.

The Federal Board of Revenue has introduced Fully Automated Sales Tax e-Refund (FASTER) system for five export-oriented sectors to promptly issue sales tax refunds to exporters by electronically Communicating Refund Payment Orders (RPOs) but the business community has also reservations on it and hopefully the officials will try to remove them.

FEBR President said that the automation would reduce human interaction between the tax officials and the taxpayers, which will ensure transparency and enhance people’s trust.

The integration of data including third-party data would disclose actual income and expenditures of filers as well as non-filers.

According to reports, Pakistan Railways will be divided into five companies under the restructuring plan to enhance its performance. One of the five companies will comprise a regulator, which will be independent of Pakistan Railways, and it will regulate safety measures and take action on accidents, he added. The second company will look after ML-1, the third company will take care of railways track and be solely supervised by the government, while fourth and fifth companies will deal with freight and passenger issues, respectively.

The FEBR chief also hailed the package that has been prepared to make Pakistan Steel Mills functional. Under the package the PSM will be handed over to a private company to enhance its production by up to three million tons, which is a good news.